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Authors: Volenec, Zoe
Advisors: Dobson, Andrew P
Contributors: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department
Subjects: Ecology
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Protected areas serve as our primary tool to stem the tide of global biodiversity loss. As the number of protected areas has grown to combat the effects of land-use change and habitat fragmentation, the size of these new protected areas has, at the same time, decreased. Though over half of all current protected areas measure under 100 hectares in size, their study is not well-represented in the scientific literature, partly because many of them are relatively new and also because they have not historically been considered to have the same value as larger reserves. Increasingly, the limited knowledge we do have about the functions that these small reserves provide indicate that they may in fact be important to conservation efforts in multiple ways. My thesis focuses on these smaller components of the global protected area network and comparably sized, less formal area-based conservation land holdings (which I refer to collectively as reserves), their biodiversity, and what mediates the species communities found within them. I model the landscapes in which small reserves best provide habitat for biodiversity and supply ecosystem services, contributing to our understanding of how to acquire and manage small reserves. I find that small reserves can provide habitat for rare, economically valuable species and provide valuable recreational opportunities for human visitors as well. Altogether my dissertation research emphasizes that, with increasing competition from human land uses, effective biodiversity conservation must, by necessity, employ small reserves in addition to their larger counterparts.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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